Dolly Parton Reveals How She'd Respond To Haters Of Her Dallas Cowboys Look

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Dolly Parton went viral when she rocked a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader-inspired look in November, garnering support (and stirring critical comments from internet trolls) for wearing the iconic outfit in her late 70s. Parton, who turned 78 earlier this month, shared what husband of nearly six decades Carl Dean thought of the wardrobe choice in a new interview.

Parton took the stage for The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Kickoff Halftime Show during the Thanksgiving Day game between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Commanders. The beloved country star performed her career-spanning hits and a newly-released anthem from her first-ever rock album, which she debuted after her induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The deluxe edition of Rockstar released on January 19, in celebration of Parton’s 78th birthday.

“It turned out pretty cool and my husband liked it. He said, ‘Those shorts were a little too short.’ I said, ‘Jealous?’” Parton laughed as she shared her husband’s reaction with PEOPLE. “And I said, ‘They weren't as short as the other girls!’ He was just being funny. I think he thought — because everybody's making a to-do over it — he thought, well, maybe you shouldn't be showing your butt at that age. But anyway, he got a kick out of it too.”

Some of the supporters who spoke out in Parton’s defense after her halftime show include her younger sister, Stella Parton, 74, and Whoopi Goldberg. Stella wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that “Dolly was cute as hell,” and on The View, Goldberg said, “some critics told her to act her age. Bite me!”

Parton continued later in the interview with PEOPLE, sharing that she opted to dress as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader “for fun,” and because she believed she could pull it off. She also said she did it for her husband. When asked how she’d respond to anyone criticizing her look, Parton said: “‘To hell with you. I'm going to do as I please.’”